I’ve read that poetry is a lot easier to write, and in most regards, it is. This is why you probably find poets churning out poetry like no one’s business. It’s a great way to let your creativity flow without the constant nitpicking and editing one does, as is often the case of short stories and novels. For those who have written anything 100 pages or longer, you know what I mean. This isn’t to say poetry doesn’t have a place in the writing world. It does and should as noted by some pretty good damn poets out there, past and present. I should do more of it because it keeps the creativity juices flowing. It might give me the kick in the ass I need to get back to my rewrite and finish my short stories.
On All Fours You Were Gone
Your head was flattened as far as it could go in that tire track.
We spotted each other at the same time.
I wanted to help, but what could I have done.
There wasn’t enough room under my coat,
And I didn’t want to get scratched by your claws.
Been there. Done that. No thanks again.
It was pouring that day. The sky was dark. The drops were harsh against my face.
I had places to be, but I slowed down and crept toward you.
I thought, maybe, you could use a friend.
Maybe, you could feel a connection with my words and hand gestures.
Without moving your head, I knew you were watching me.
I meant you no harm when you raised your body on all fours.
Out of fear or hesitation, I can’t be sure.
I didn’t mean to drive you out of your comfort zone with that extra step.
You darted away, running for another place.
I watched you through my half-obscured glasses, wondering where you had gone.
For this I am sorry.
You weren’t the exception that day for me.
I saw your hands gripping the steering wheel tight enough to make your
fingers cramp like one’s stomach does after overeating.
A person of your caliber never thinks logically when someone like me chases you.
It’s tragic knowing there’s nothing you can do to get away.
You claim your living the good life. You’re not.
A whole range of thoughts go through your head when your livelihood is at stake.
You possess a half-life, if that, and you know there’s never a way out.
I’m always on your heels.
The threat of your inside becoming your outside is real.
The cuts are now shallow. The hours will seem much longer.
You’ll find your life will further dissect until you can’t hold the minutes with ease.
You want what I have. You want my name. You want my power.
This will never happen when there’s nothing to add and everything to subtract.
Let it Go
I was willing to let it go.
Let the dogs lie peacefully, but you had to utter those words.
You did not see how it’s my usual nature to ignore someone like you,
to let the wind carry your stupidity away before it lands on my shoulder.
This time it was different.
Your disrespect in the way you muttered something under your breath.
I will remind you it was your fault.
I was not the one who took something that was not mine.
You were the one who kept pecking.
You were the one who created this divide between us with the reaction
on your face, and the returned response on mine.
There was nothing left between us except your frustration and anger,
and all because you could not let it go.
Those words I could not hear.
I knew what they meant,
and this is why I was not silent.
I’ve seen what tired looks like on a divorced woman.
It hangs in front of her like a carrot she never can reach again.
I knew of others who suffered this affliction.
They bathed in it much too long, and I never bothered to ask the important
How do you get rid of it? Maybe, you don’t. Maybe, you can’t.
Maybe, you should try harder. Maybe, you shouldn’t.
When I came home that Wednesday night, there was a note.
Yes, it was the night he left me after fifteen years together.
Five words: I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!
Did I mention, he put an exclamation point.
It was, at this point, I lost my appetite. I became a closet Debbie Downer.
A few times I thought death was the best option, but it passed quickly.
I wasn’t that kind of woman, but when the waves in my life tank became too big,
and the bottom no longer there, it was tempting.
I managed to grab something, only for it to slip out of my hand, and drift away.
Sometimes the loss was unbearable and was forced to close my eyes.
He was the one person I thought would never leave me.
It became the longest year of my life. It isn’t easy to breath when you’re not in
I no longer had his arms comforting me.
I longed for his touch. I longed for his smell. I longed for his words.
I also longed to slap his face for his inability to be truthful.
A few months had passed when I recognized something.
It was no longer our bedroom. It was my bedroom.
This was my carpet digging into my legs. This was my wall touching my back.
I could paint over the ugliness on the walls.
Nothing was ours anymore. Nothing was his anymore.
He didn’t want the house. His input no longer matters.
I should’ve known better. Our separation was a bad dream.
Our divorce is going to be a good dream.
I loved him once, and he loved me too.
I have no idea where he is living or if he has another woman.
Too much time has passed, and I have since painted the walls again.
My five words: I AM BETTER WITHOUT YOU.
I have cut myself to my ankles many times before
because that is what you taught me.
This is what you breathed into my mouth
when I didn’t want your lips anywhere near mine.
Boy, did you keep insisting.
Jeez, how deep did you think you could go?
What the fuck was the matter with you?
Wait, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.
The hatred. The loathing. The revenge. The pain.
The sad part is you still don’t give a shit.
I trusted you to have my back,
and you did nothing but push me down,
over and over again
until my shell was cracked into a thousand pieces.
It’s a wonder how I ever survived through it all.
Yet, I did.
Some fucking how, I did.
Here, I am, the only one left.
It started with you and ends with me.
Get ready because soon the whole world will know what you did
despite you never caring.
I have outlived you by a few years, at most probably five,
maybe even ten, but no more than eleven.
As I sat waiting to reach my destination,
I had time to think about you in the silence, imagining what
aspirations you had, and when you realized all was lost.
You went back to nothing again and again because the path you followed was the
wrong one. It must’ve been a revelation hitting you in the face
when you reached the dead end.
I’m not sure what I would’ve done in your shoes,
but I know the tears you wiped and the revenge you should’ve had
was all for one thing and one thing only.
I should’ve asked for you sooner.
I never imagined I would pick you apart, only to try to tape you back together again
year after painful year.
I never knew why you were gone even though I knew what had happened.
There’s no more needing the answer.
I have it, and so do you now.
There’s freedom for both of us, and while this feels strange to say,
it is reality I’ve accepted because
without you there would be no me.
You tell me you can’t go on,
that you are sore,
sent to the brink of not being able to return.
But you’ve never listened to yourself,
or told yourself you can go on,
as a fighter,
someone that strikes first and asks questions later.
You pass by people who have betrayed
you with all their intelligence,
and you think they are better
but they aren’t,
and why you can’t accept that I’m not sure.
Their fingers and toes aren’t
anymore special than your own,
but you insist on burning both ends of the stick,
and it never makes sense
why you do this,
when your existence is questionable.
If I told you to touch it, would you?
I don’t think you would.
I really don’t think you would.
You crave loneliness.
You do things in the dark.
It’s not like I don’t know who you are.
I see you not holding your words in truth.
I hear you doing bad things.
I touch your ugliness all the time.
You have not fooled me.
It’s not as if I lost my senses.
You keep trying to hide things, believing each time you succeeded.
You wonder why it happened that way.
If I told you I would kill it, would you let me?
Allow me to stop its suffering.
Allow me to stop the contortions.
Have it not scamper to an unknown spot,
Never to be found again.
Your misery vanished.
I don’t think you could handle it.
I really don’t think you could.
You like darkness.
I wonder if you really do.
You might stay there forever.
What would you do?
What could I do to you?
I’ve kicked you out many times
From my mind.
I’ve bolted down the tiny path,
Always leading somewhere toward mistakes.
I played with death
Because of you.
I wanted it.
I craved it.
I needed it.
My chest was crushed under your weight.
The weight I thought was something else.
The something else that was fear.
The fear that turned into pure ugliness.
It wasn’t that you betrayed me,
But the way you did it,
So viciously and carelessly.
You simply didn’t give a damn,
Despite all your promises.
You’ve been replaced with pain of another kind,
Broken and dejected.
Similar yet different.
In the Meantime
Are up there,
I am down here.
Were always with me,
And hearing my voice quiver.
My high pitched words,
Sounding like unsettled screams,
As you stroked my fears away.
Every day you are gone,
I am unsettled,
Sometimes it is
Unbearable for me,
And I think
When this feeling ends,
Will I be stronger?
Have moved away,
For such a long time,
Way over there,
I miss you,
It seems you have been here before.
Yes, you have.
The objects look the same.
Yet, you know they are different.
The dust is another layer formed.
Another year gone by, and you must escape from under these dark clouds.
Your eyes are heavy.
Your ears don’t hear well.
Strength can be difficult to find.
Every morning you put life into categories,
As if they can be labeled,
As if they will gain a different meaning.
One you will understand better.
One that doesn’t make your heart so weary.
One that doesn’t make you suffer so much.
Yes, the arrows still fly around you.
Nights become days as you walk toward the dark again.
You feel more is within your grasp, but never fully able to see it.
It takes time to deliver.
You tell yourself these words.
You navigate the weight of life on your shoulders.
There are no remedies to take the pressure away.
Yes, it is this way.
Not all the time is it great.
Not all the time is it right.
There aren’t magical words to fulfill your desires.
Half of your existence remains tucked away.
What Could Have Been
What are the odds?
Not very high.
I told myself this over and over.
It must be difficult to know you lost out on something.
Yes, it stings a little bit, but all the time people lose.
Some lose something small.
Some lose something big.
It is easy to let it fester.
Stay up all hours of the night.
What was the meaning of this?
Am I not seeing something there?
Is this is another lesson?
Why did I miss it?
What do other people do?
Because I only feel numbness.
This is a screwed up way to teach me a lesson.
I wasn’t told these kinds of things would happen.
I wasn’t given the choice that life would get harder instead of easier.
I wasn’t told many things.
I find myself not so hopeful.
It is sad I might never be reunited with the might have been.
It is downright a gloomy prospect.
I am not sure where to place my feet now.
It scares me more than I am admitting.
The sun rising or setting does not comfort me like it once did.
This kind of repetition gets old.
Will the sun stop rising and setting at some point?
Will it disappear?
I am not feeling like I once was.
I am not feeling much at all.
The odds were very high this time.
There had to be another way.
There simply was not.